Psychedelic-sludge merchants Intronaut have been touring in support of their newest album, Habitual Levitations. With the tour culminating in a homecoming show this Saturday, July 6th at the Roxy, we asked Intronaut guitarist and vocalist Sacha Dunable, “What makes Los Angeles metal?” According to the local native? Not too much.
Sacha Dunable: What makes L.A. metal? At first thought, I want to say that there's nothing metal about it. We live in a huge city built mostly by tourism and the entertainment industry. Culturally, there's so much of everything here that it makes pinpointing one distinguishing quality pretty much impossible. Oslo is known for pickled herring and church burnings — at least to an ignorant person like me who has never cared about Oslo. L.A. is known for tacos, Hollywood, the beach, the music industry, art, and a bunch of other shit that isn't metal.
When I think “metal” city, I'm looking at Montreal, Stockholm, or Tampa. Places with brutal living conditions and a distinct era and style of metal they've contributed to the world. We had '80s glam (sorry, world), but I can't count that because all those guys moved here from Indiana or something to wear makeup, do coke and probably help along the spreading of AIDS. I wouldn't want a bunch of hick transplants to define our city musically, especially for something so embarrassing.
Three-fourths of Intronaut grew up in the Santa Monica/Venice area, home to yuppies and their kids who grow up to be yuppies. Oh, and Suicidal Tendencies, who spawned punk gangs that used to terrorize us metal kids in high school. I guess ditching school to go smoke weed at the beach and listen to Mayhem on a boom box was pretty metal, but then again it was usually in a Gelson's parking lot. Not brutal. The most dangerous anything ever got was going to backyard metal and punk shows in East L.A. back in the '90s, which in hindsight probably wasn't all that dangerous.
Ok, so despite us being beach metal kids living in the most pussy city ever, there are some pretty brutal things about being an Angeleno. How about that cost of living? Brutal! How are you supposed to survive as a poor metal musician in this city? No, that's a serious question. I haven't quite figured it out yet and I'm 32. Gas prices? In a city where you have to drive everywhere? Brutal. Hammer-Smashed-Face-brutal. L.A. riots? Ok, that wasn't me, but it happened here. See? It's that hard to come up with reasons why LA is metal.
I worked at a smoothie shop in West Hollywood years ago and these old ladies with out of date, deflated lip and breast implants would come in and it was really gross to look at. Worse than a Disgorge album cover. Have you ever thought your gravestone would read “barfed to death after looking at plastic surgery disasters all day” or was that just me? Hey, that's actually a pretty good lyrical concept for a death metal band! I'll actually leave that one up for grabs. My gift to metal on behalf of L.A.
So there you have it. You wanted to know why L.A. is metal, and I tried. We're not metal. Sorry. Wait, Slayer is from here right?
Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW.